Ruins of Chugoku Regional Military Headquarters Air Defense Room.
The Hiroshima Castle complex in Motomachi was a concentration of Army facilities. At the Chugoku Regional Military Headquarters, which were located in the southern section of the Hiroshoma castle complex, third-year students from Hijiyama Girls High School were mobilized as a Student Communications Squadron. Here, more than 700 Headquarters employees, 64 Hijiyama Girls High School students and teachers, and two prisoners from the U.S. military died.
Yoshie Oka (then, 14), a student at Hijiyama Girls High School, was working in the Chugoku Regional Military Headquarters Air Defense Room as part of the student mobilization.
Oka, who was in the semi-underground defense room when the bomb was dropped, lost consciousness for a while, then went outside. She was shocked to see a flattened Hiroshima, allowing her to see all the way to the sea. Returning to the defense room, she contacted Fukuyama city with the news of Hiroshima’s destruction. This is believed to have been the “initial report” from Hiroshima after the bomb was dropped.
Words from the Hiroshima virtual museum website, edited by Stuart. Photos by Stuart.